Week 3 in the year of our Lord 2022

Ruling over yourself and others

11 minutes to read

Do not let a woman who decorates her buttocks deceive you by wily coaxing, for she is after your granary. —Hesiod (700 BC)


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You can’t rule over a church if you won’t rule over your family.

You can’t rule over a family if you won’t rule yourself.

And you can’t rule over yourself if God doesn’t rule over you.

Spiritual maturity is downstream from the Lordship of Christ.

Self-rule is the foundation for all rulership and leadership, because self-rule—self-control, self-mastery—produces character over time. Character comes by discipline, and discipline starts with self-rule. But paradoxically, the foundation of self-rule is submission to God.

This is because we are made to exercise dominion as His image. If you will not submit to God’s law, to God’s design for man, you cannot image Him…and so you cannot properly exercise dominion—including over yourself.

How important is this?

Your eternal soul is at stake. A kingdom is characterized by rulership—which is why not everyone will be redeemed into the kingdom of God.

Have you not known that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be led astray; neither whoremongers, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)

There will remain outside those who will not rule over themselves, because they will not reflect the Ruler. There is no place in God’s kingdom for those who refuse to image Him. They would not even want to be there.

So what will become of them?

If the image of God is redeemed and restored in the inhabitants of the eternal kingdom, the implication is that in the process it will be stripped from those who are outside the kingdom’s walls. If the kingdom of man is to be made perfect in the kingdom of God (Rev 11:15), then what remains will crumble into nothing. If the kingdom of man becomes the kingdom of God, there will be no kingdom at all apart from it.

We know that the people outside will remain. They won’t cease to exist. But the world they inhabit, the society that remains, will no longer be a kingdom—even a kingdom of darkness and violence and delusion and sin. God has taken back that kingdom. What He leaves behind will be a society completely stripped of the image of God, of all the kingly things that reflect God’s character, and which make the current world bearable.

All those things are going to be redeemed.

None of them will remain for those left outside.

Imagine a society of people without rule. Without purpose. Without any desire to do good, or any reason to obey God’s laws. Without family, without compassion, without any bond of any kind between them. And without even the comfort of hiding from God and pretending He doesn’t exist; nor the hope of annihilation in death.

Hell will be a place of complete disunity and hatred and hopelessness and despair. There is no love in hell. There is no onetogetherness. God does not love those in hell, and neither do the people there.

Even though we see hints of that world today, can we really have the slightest inkling what an appalling place the world outside the consummated kingdom will be?

Avoiding such a fearful thing begins with discipline. And this discipline begins, for both your soul and the souls under your care, in weekly public worship with a biblical church.

It is the foundation of all spiritual disciplines. So do what it takes to make it happen.


If you find our use of the phrase “rule over” offensive, or unnecessarily abrasive, it means you are…

  1. unfamiliar with the language of Scripture and historic Christianity;
  2. unaware of how deeply you’ve been influenced by modern culture;
  3. unwilling (for any number of reasons) to let your rhetoric and communication be formed by Scripture;
  4. some mixture of the previous options.

Many today hate the term “rule over,” because it is the perfect pairing of two concepts that modern man despises: authority and hierarchy.

  • Rule refers to authoritative decision making;
  • Over refers to the hierarchical structure that imposes the decision from above.

Modern man thinks only of “ruling over” in domineering terms because he hates the design of his own body, and the pattern of that body which manifests at every level of creation (let the reader understand). But what does the Scripture say?

The God of Israel said it; The Rock of Israel spoke to me: “He who rules over mankind righteously, Who rules in the fear of God… (2 Samuel 23:3)

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account… (Hebrews 13.17)

Now just replace rules over with dominates or domineers…and see how it plays contextually.

Does it work?

The God of Israel said it; The Rock of Israel spoke to me: “He who dominates mankind righteously, Who rules in the fear of God…”

Obey them that dominate you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account… (Hebrews 13.17)

No, it doesn’t work at all.

Rulers in hierarchy can be righteous or unrighteous.

If they are unrighteous, their ruling will be a bad thing; a head that confuses and devours and divides the strength of its body.

If they are righteous, their ruling over will be a good thing; a head that directs and nourishes and knits together its body (Col 2:19).

Bad ruling comes in the form of either not fulfilling the duties given to you (abdication), or exceeding the limits of your duties (domineering).

Good ruling comes in the form of gladly fulfilling the duties given to you for the good of others and, ultimately, the glory of God.

This is the clear and undeniable testimony of Scripture.

We can’t allow the fact that people had a bad father, pastor, teacher, or magistrate to undermine the biblical reality of the goodness of rightly ordered hierarchical rule. The misuse of something doesn’t negate the right use of the same thing. Quite the opposite, it highlights the importance of that right use. If you have brain cancer, you don’t cut out your brain; you cut out the cancer. If you have a crooked cop, protecting people from him is impossible if there are no cops—it takes good cops.

This brings us to a final point which is especially relevant in the modern day. Some people just don’t want to submit to any authority. It really isn’t about all the bad authorities in the world. It’s an excuse to do whatever they want.


Many Christian men who are attracted to “patriarchalism” are just jilted white knights.

This is why we routinely refer to our view as gendered piety instead of, or alongside of, patriarchalism. It’s not that patriarchy is bad—it’s that so many men are attracted to it because they cannot rule, rather than because they can. Gendered piety emphasizes that masculine rulership itself requires virtuous action, as a duty toward God and neighbor.

There are a lot of Christian men who allowed feminists to live in their heads for years. This is the kind of man who tuned his behavior and language to gain the approval of women in one form or another.

When that didn’t work, he got angry.

But he didn’t repent of the underlying problem: making feminists his frame of reference. He just recalibrated; adjusted his tuning. The feminists still live in his head…but now he tunes his behavior and language to trigger them, as an act of defiance. He likes to show them that he doesn’t need their approval.

It’s the very pattern he learned from the feminists themselves, when they told him they need a man like a fish needs a bicycle. He is still reacting to them, living in their frame.

Because he calculates his behavior to piss off feminists, he comes across as having an angry attitude towards women in general. He comes across as weak and negative, defining himself by his enemy instead of by his God, and living reactively instead of proactively.

This is why we don’t write anything out of a desire to trigger feminists. They aren’t our audience. We give them little to no thought. It’s good to be like Don Draper in some areas:

https://youtu.be/LlOSdRMSG_k

We are always looking for the best “kingdom ROI”—and that doesn’t come from antagonizing feminists, because what do feminists have to do with the kingdom of God?

Far better to build up humble men, and encourage women who have a gentle spirit.


New content this week: #


Notable: #

I need to reach that tree before that car or I’ll die
Pagans are honest about modesty when Christians refuse


More effort is wasted doing things that don’t matter than is wasted doing things inefficiently. And if that is the case, elimination is a more useful skill than optimization. I am reminded of the famous Peter Drucker quote, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” —James Clear


Read and share this email on the web: #

https://notes.itsgoodtobeaman.com/ruling-over-yourself-and-others/


Talk again next week,

Bnonn & Michael

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